The AnalogLovers interview with George Mann, inventor of the Full-Spectrum, Frequency Modulated Optical Analog Laserdisc Format.
know am not alone in thinking an optical-read analog format is a great
idea. I like the 12-inch size because of the superior artwork of cover
design and to have an optical analog format with no surface noise,
scratches and ticks would be a dream come true.
To help my
readers better understand this new format; I have asked Mr. Mann to
explain this new analog format. The first new analog format since 1978!
Mr. Mann I understand your optical-read analog format is still in the
design stages but can you describe for us in layman terms how the final
version might work?
George Mann: Sure. A
double-sided 12" optical laser disc will be used to store the full
spectrum, frequency-modulated audio tracks. Then, a special laser will
read those modulations much like a turntable styli reads a record.
T: Would it be sonically superior with the same program material to the best LPs?
GM: Yes, and without the drawbacks of a physical contact medium.
Laserdisc technology, using a transparent disc, was invented by David
Paul Gregg in 1958 however was not a commercial product until 20 years
later in 1978. How long ago was your optical read laser analog format
GM: It was first conceptualized in December 1974.
When Phillips was developing the CD a spokesman stated "Philips didn't
care whither the new format was analog or digital as long it was laser
read." Was your format the analog version he was talking about?
There were several competing formats at the time. Naturally, I thought
mine was the most promising, and I am confident it will prove to be so.
As I understand it your Optical-read analog format is similar to AFM
technique used in LaserDiscs but with full frequency response. Would it
not be possible to record the actual waveform instead of a frequency
modulation using the new Blue lasers instead of traditional red on a 12
inch disc similar in construction to LaserDisc and still have adequate
GM: Red lasers seem to have been the most
successful up until now, but I am not an authority on the matter. I
will say that a full spectrum, frequency-modulated source is capable of
accurately representing an audio waveform.
T: New format
development is a multi-million dollar venture, what can we as consumers
do to get the right parties interested in your new analog optical-read
GM: It is up to the audiophile consumer and those
involved in making hi-end analog recordings to take a serious,
proactive interest in promoting a format
that would best suite our needs.
Mr. Mann can you describe some of your other inventions such as your
3-channel "true channel" playback array as well as your "boxless" ultra
time/phase linear coincidental point source array monitor.
My 3-channel, true channel playback array is a breakthrough in the way
one reproduces a recording in ones home. It is designed to replicate
the way we hear a performance in real life (mono+spacial & ambient
info), and is compatible with all existing recordings.
"boxless", ultra time/phase linear, coincidental point source array is
designed to provide the most linear, transparent and realistic sound
reproduction possible. It may prove to be a major step forward in
Real-world tests of these designs have shown "very" promising results!
Thanks Mr. Mann for an insightful interview and for your support of
analog. I am sure I speak for my readers in wishing you great success
with your analog optical-read laser format.
GM: And thank you for the gracious opportunity to showcase my designs. George Mann
© October 2006 analoglovers.com